At Superbase Creative, we are big fans of Brand Lines, Tag Lines, and organizational Mission Statements. In an era when having a clear message is everything, it’s important that brands start from the inside out by making sure they can concisely identify their purpose in their internal mission statement. These three statements should collectively express the reason why the brand needs to exist.
However, a lot of businesses don’t understand that there are a few different types of important statements or brand lines that they need to develop. Like a confusing hybrid of marketing speak and HR department lingo under the guise of motivation, many companies misguidedly combine all of their credos, waffling about mission statements and slogans interchangeably.
So let’s break it down a bit, shall we?
We believe that there are 3 absolutely critical statements that your brand should develop. Like all marketing topics, you will read about a lot of differing opinions on this matter. Some opinions might suggest that a slogan and a tagline are the same thing. And you’ve probably heard about others such as Brand Positioning Statements, Mottos, and so on. We’ve seen companies that have split these 3 key proclamations into five or more different edicts! In the spirit of less is more, we recommend focusing on just these 3, and doing them really well:
1. Brand Line or Slogan: In just one sentence, the slogan (often called brand line) describes what it is that your brand does in the context of a goal or point of differentiation. While it should be concise, it should be just long enough to evoke some emotion while also identifying what it is that the company offers.
2. Creative Tagline: Short and powerful, this is the tagline that your customers would recognize first. Think Differently. Apple. Can You Hear Me Now? Verizon. The tagline is outward-facing. Like a clever punchline, this brief statement is used in marketing to create a memorable brand and can often change over the years with the advent of new campaigns. Unlike a slogan, a tagline doesn’t necessarily have to identify the product or the company. The goal with a tagline is memorability and customer-to-brand association.
3. Mission or Vision Statement: A Mission Statement is a more descriptive statement that is meant to inform and inspire the organization from within. It gives employees and other shareholders the why and how of your business. While the Mission Statement can be shared with your customers, this statement is most operative when designed to be an internal document created in collaboration with all of the decision makers of the brand, not just one department. We highly recommend reviewing the advice Steven R. Covey gives in The 7 Habits about formulating an effective mission statement.
Some examples of this structure. Do these sound familiar?
Motel 6 Brand Line or Slogan: “Lowest price of any national chain.”
Motel 6 Tagline: “We’ll Leave The Light On For You”
Motel 6 Mission or Vision Statement: “To become the universally recognized leader in economy lodging. We continuously strive to reinvent the economy lodging category while remaining 100 percent committed to delivering a great experience to our guests, team members, franchisees and partners.”
Nike Brand Line or Slogan: “Authentic athletic performance”
Nike Tagline: “Just Do It”
Nike Mission or Vision Statement: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Some organizations might divide the Mission Statement out even further by creating a separate “Vision Statement” in addition to the mission statement that is intended to be more future-focused, but we consider this redundant and unnecessary even for larger organizations. Your Mission Statement ought to already be future-focused, not only describing where your brand currently is, but also where it is heading.
Why Your Brand Needs All 3 Statements
Just as you hope that your customers would be able to easily shout your outward-facing Tagline that you’ve spent so much money marketing, every employee within your organization should be able to casually recite your internal Mission Statement when asked, even if only paraphrased (albeit accurately) in their own words. In fact, this is a good indicator of the efficacy of your Mission Statement: if your own team cannot confidently recount it, what is the point of having one? You might want to consider shortening it.
Our slogan at Superbase is “We help good brands become great brands.” If you are excited about growing your brand through great design and strategic marketing, schedule a time for a complimentary consulting session. Our tagline is “A new kind of creative consultancy.” Superbase Creative operates quite differently than other creative agencies. We can work with your team to help you craft the memorable brand message that you’ve been looking for.